Italian Ballads at their best: The legend of Claudio Baglioni

Enough said. Now time for a listen:

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No doubt, it’s No Doubt

Been looking through old CDs, and came across a few gems. Probably the day’s most unexpected find has been the rediscovery of my No Doubt CDs. I really really liked No Doubt for a few years. But then I forgot about them (this may or may not have coincided with the advent of Gwen Stefani’s solo career).

In any case, here’s one of my favourites off of 2001’s Rock Steady album. It’s called “Making Out” (aha, love the title!).

Holy Hipster!

I don’t really know what “hipster” means, so I did some research on Google Images. Along with some American Apparel undie ads and beer-bemused snapshots from Pabst parties (why do they wear sunglasses in dark rooms in the nighttime?), here were some of my favourites:

hipster google search 1

I confess that this doesn’t correspond perfectly to my mental image of the hipster. Perhaps it’s because it was supposed to represent the “Columbia hipster.” The Toronto hipsters must be a different breed… One that wears tighter pants.

hipster trap

Ahaha, I just found this incredibly funny. Although I didn’t learn very much.

Beirut was…

EXCELLENT.

Some highlights included:

  • The band-wide towel-down in the middle of the show — after which Zach sang the next song (was it Elephant Gun?), ukelele in hand and towel draped over his head. Nun-style.
  • A heightened appreciation of The Gulag Orkestar and and The Akara. Live. Whoa.
  • So much love. I was in the third row, but a pretty big guy was in front of me. My Zach Condon view was not optimal. A couple of songs in, he realized I couldn’t see, so he stepped back, and let me stand in front of him. Second Row. Yes.
  • More love. Beirut shows have the power to solve racial conflict. A bunch of drunk latino girls got into a fight with a black guy because he was imitating their (admittedly annoying) screeching while the Dodos opened up the show. But in the end they all made up. (Yay Dodos!)
  • Even more love. AND SO MUCH ELBOW ROOM. Second row, and no one pressed up against you in a quasi-frottage manoeuvre? Priceless.

beirut july 9

(I didn’t bring my camera so this photo from the National Post concert review will have to suffice — they were the first ones to post. I was way closer.)

Michael Jackson died

Yesterday evening I was sipping tea at Future’s when I heard my phone ringing; it was Blerta calling. As soon as I picked up:

“Ειρηνη, Michael Jackson died!”

I can’t help but wonder whether I’ll remember, when I’m older, where I was and what I was doing when I first heard the news. But for now, let’s remember what made Michael a legacy in the first place.

michael jackson thriller

The Strokes start work on fourth album (!!)

This just in from the Strokes website (well… actually, it was posted on March 27):

Work begins on album number four

While I’m certainly eager to hear this next album, I can’t help but feel a little anxious about it. Frankly, First Impressions wasn’t my cup of tea. Sure, they got lots of radio play with Juicebox… but come on, Juicebox? Really?

the strokes good ol days

That said, I did like a number of tracks on the album. Evening Sun, Heart in a Cage, Electricityscape, You Only Live Once (plus the lo-fi version I’d Try Anything Once — in which Julian’s voice is back to what to should be: bedroom-radio-static). But what First Impressions lacked in comparison with the first two was the sense of an album as a whole. When you listen to Is This It, you start at Track 1, and you don’t stop until Track 11 is over. Rinse, and repeat.

Album 3 was a bit of a miss in that way. I found myself skipping tracks, or selecting a couple and listening to them exclusively. It didn’t have the draw of its wise young predecessors, and in attempt to incorporate variety, it lost a sense of cohesiveness. You forgot that this was a Strokes album.

Sometimes you just get things right the first time.